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I’ve seen some Demolition Man-like fantasies about Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger running for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012 on the net. Maybe because the state he leads is in such good financial shape? Or maybe it’s his “Girlie Men” thing which, by the way, got him my vote for a while.
Until now, that is. Vaclav Klaus is the President of the Czech Republic, which took over the rotating Presidency of the European Union on January 1. His ideas about what the EU is for, and his outspokenness about those ideas have caused, shall we say, consternation among the career trough-feeders in Europe.
Stand aside, Governator, there’s a new Terminator on the world stage:
It is a common feeling that the Czech Republic is taking over the European Union presidency at a rather complicated moment, even though almost all “moments” can eventually be called “complicated”. We should not panic and must say No to people who – by describing the current moment as the historically unique one – want only to manipulate us.
There are, of course, highly publicised (if not over-publicised) problems. The world is in the midst of a deep financial and economic crisis. The EU has growing troubles with its increasingly visible democratic deficit and is gravely divided as regards its own institutional arrangements. The global climate is basically not changing, but global warming alarmists have succeeded in persuading politicians (and some ordinary people as well) that a doomsday is coming and on this false assumption they have tried to restrain our freedom and curtail our prosperity. The long-existing nucleus of armed conflicts accompanied by immense suffering of millions of people – in places such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel-Palestine and some African regions – does not promise any quick solution.
The economic crisis should be regarded as an unavoidable consequence and hence a “just” price we have to pay for immodest and over-confident politicians playing with the market. Their attempts to blame the market, instead of blaming themselves, are unacceptable and should be resolutely rejected. The Czech government will – hopefully – not push the world and Europe into more regulation, nationalisation, de-liberalisation and protectionism. Our historical experience gives us a very strong warning in this respect.
I do believe he just called the entire European political establishment girlie men. Delicious. There’s lots more, including this un-curlicued, Terminator-like statement of fact:
Our historical experience gives us a clear instruction: we always need more of markets and less of government intervention. We also know that government failure is more costly than market failure.
The EU presidency might give us a chance to make use of some of our views to the benefit of the citizens of all EU member states. Their welfare and happiness will be maximised in a free, democratic, decentralised, open and liberalised Europe.
There’s his problem. His statements are not complicated enough. They don’t have all those twists and turns of phrase that let the speaker hide his real meaning (if any) and evade any responsibility for his own words. No wonder the European political class can’t stand him. He’s a straight-talking cowboy, and we all know that’s the ultimate insult, at least to Europeans. (Note to Europeans and American lefties: cowboys were my heroes when I was a kid and still are, and all your sneering won’t change that fact. If you’re going to bad-mouth someone, make sure your audience shares your prejudices. It works better for you that way.)
Will he make it possible for Europe say “Hasta la vista, bay-bee” to the bureaucratic sinkhole the EU has become? I don’t know, but I wish President Klaus good luck. He will certainly need it.
More about this:
The Wall Street Journal agrees: A Prague Spring For Political Honesty